Thursday, November 25, 2010


Alternative names: Shopping Carts
Objective: To build up endurance and strengthen the derby muscles; to practice proper derby stance; to support each other
Typical length of drill: 10 mins
Materials needed: A full track or just four cones to mark the inside track line
Skill level required: None
Description: This is an endurance drill where skaters take turns pushing and pulling three other skaters for 60 seconds at a time.  Divide all of your skaters into groups of four (if your skaters don't evenly divide into groups of four you can have one or two groups of five, or involve the referees!) and then have all the groups spread themselves out around the track so that everyone isn't starting from the same exact place.  The groups should form lines where everyone but the first person is holding on to the hips of another skater, essentially building a train (see image below). On the whistle the person in the back begins pushing the three skaters in front of her/him while the three skaters stay in proper derby stance doing nothing but being dead-weight.  The skater in the back pushes her/his teammates for 60 seconds and then the coach blows the whistle again signaling for the pusher to let go and skate up to the front of the line and become dead-weight.  The person now in the back begins pushing.  This continues until all the skaters in line have gotten the chance to push for 60 seconds, then the pulling begins.  Each skater pulls the line of three dead-weight skaters behind her for 60 seconds and then drops back and grabs onto the skater in the back becoming dead-weight herself/himself.

Coaches during this drill should consistently be correcting skaters on their form because after a while this drill gets really heavy on the legs and skaters begin standing up more.  It's good to remind skaters that they can make it easier for the pusher/puller by being low -- the taller a skater stands, the more difficult it is for the pusher/puller.  If you look at the image below the skaters being pushed should be told to get lower, and particularly the skater in the pink shorts second from the front should be told to bend her knees more as her stance is not quite proper.

Additional notes: This is another one of those drills I learned while skating with New Hampshire Roller Derby :)  I think that this drill is great for freshmeat because they can practice the proper stance and form without having to worry about falling since they are all attached.  Also, this drill gives all the skaters a good chance to show each other some love -- during the drill they should be helping each other out by encouraging their teammates to push themselves and keep going hard and not give up.  Finally I'd also like to add that this is a great drill to do in the clockwise direction, in fact, we often change direction in the middle, when we switch from pushing to pulling.

Minnie Gun BangBang pushing a group of three at a Helsinki Roller Derby practice. Photo by Mick Dagger.
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  1. We call this one Shopping Carts

    Skyland Roller Girls

  2. Very interesting, because to me "shopping carts" means something entirely different -- we use that term when referring to pulling a teammate behind you either to hide them or to allow them to keep their eyes behind them at all times. I'll add it to the alternative names tho! And if you think about it, it does make sense, this drill is just a like pushing multiple shopping carts at once, like you see the grocery store employees do! :)

  3. yeah, I have also heard shoppincarts as an alt name for it